Billeh Nickerson

Billeh Nickerson

Billeh Nickerson is the author of the Publishing Triangle Award nominated The Asthmatic GlassblowerLet Me Kiss It Better: Elixirs for the Not So Straight and Narrow and McPoems. A new collection entitled Impact: The Titanic Poems will be published in the Spring of 2012. He is also the co-editor of Seminal: the Anthology of Canada’s Gay Male Poets and the former Editor of Event magazine and PRISM International, 2 of Canada’s most prestigious literary journals. He currently lives in Vancouver, where he teaches Creative Writing at Kwantlen Polytechnic University.

Pickle Sundae

How can you refuse to make a sundae topped off with pickles when a customer explains this is how she’ll tell her husband about her pregnancy? When she walks back to their table with a hot fudge sundae for him and a pickle sundae for her, he doesn’t even notice at first, just stuffs his face with spoonful after spoonful until he sees the pickles in her ice cream, then hugs her so tightly you worry about the baby.


The Chicken Truck

In retrospect you should have known that the snowflakes you saw weren’t really snowflakes on a hot Summer’s day, but little white feathers from the chicken truck that overturned in front of the restaurant. All day long people found zonked out chickens hidden in the landscaping and, unfortunately, a few were run over by customers in the drive-thru. One man screamed that he didn’t take his family out for dinner to kill something. That made you think for a long time.



You want to tell her you can see everything when she parks in the vacant lot across from the restaurant, how you swear the birds recognize her and wait until she sticks her head outside the door, finishes her business, then drives away. There’s always a commotion when she leaves, a flock of seagulls, a murder of crows, any number of bird groupings you don’t know the names for.


100 Cheeseburgers

An elderly man you recognize as someone who moves slowly and pays for everything with change scrounged from his pockets surprises you when he pulls out a wad of bills and orders 100 cheeseburgers. You get him to repeat himself a couple of times, 100 cheeseburgers, 100 cheeseburgers he says, tells you he intends to freeze them, they’ll get him through the winter, no need for pesky walks on cold days, no danger of slipping and breaking a hip. 100 cheeseburgers will keep me going for a little while longer at least, I don’t need much.

Birds © 2012 Calgary Spoken Word Society